I had been putting off watching this film because my mother said it was depressing and difficult to see and she watches anything with Meryl Streep! I’m so glad I finally took the opportunity to watch this wonderfully told true story of the fight for the right to vote in England. All too often we’re taught about the struggle for equality in America that it’s easy to forget that the rest of the civilized world was rising up as well.
Mom was right. The story is not easy to watch. Women being beaten by police along with the usual every day sexism that, unless you listen to Donald Trump speeches all day, you don’t have the pleasure of hearing out in the open much anymore. As a 51 year old feminist, even I found myself shocked by some of the horrid abuse that was being hurled about in “polite society ”
You may be thinking, why would I want to subject myself to stuff that happened so long ago?
Let me answer by putting the time line into context. The year was 1912. Just 104 years ago. Just 7 years before the birth of my grandmother, a woman I knew well and admired greatly. I was always in awe of her strength .It’s one thing to know intellectually the things that our grandmothers and great grandmothers fought to give us, but until you see it in front of your face, really understanding the hurdles and blockades, the sheer impossibility of winning the fight won’t hit home. This film, while light on screen time for Meryl Streep, which disappointed my lovely mother, was able to gift me with understanding of the world my grandmother had to learn to navigate with very few weapons in her arsenal.
We owe our freedom, such as it is, to these women. If not for the right to vote, we’d never be on the precipice of being able to gift our daughters, and granddaughters with the knowledge that women are welcome in leadership roles. Every female leader around the world from Indira Gandhi to Margaret Thatcher, to Evita Peron, to Hillary Clinton owes a huge debt of gratitude for the ability to stand on the shoulders of these brave women and be the best example they can be for women everywhere. Women want to lead in order to do something in our world, let’s see what we can do, together.
Still not excited about voting day? On or before November 7th watch this film and let it sink in. Take a good look at your candidate and what they’ve done for the advancement of women in the world, and what they plan to do. Finding the need to fight for equality shouldn’t be too hard. It’s everywhere. It’s in the way men look at us and talk about us. Do we really need another leader who sees women as nothing more than a piece of ass? It’s even in the minds of other women who think that leading a country is a man’s job and are actively teaching their daughters that they are worth less than their sons.
Suffrage gave us a voice. It’s our duty to use it. I, for one would love to see the day when women world wide can breathe a sigh of relief and proudly proclaim the suffering over